CHAPTER – 14 FIRE SPREADS
The Joint Council of Action in Calcutta felt necessity that with a view to making the strike a short lived one, it should spread throughout the country so that the government be forced to come to them. Accordingly, Sri.Keshab Ganguly and Sri. Sisirlal Sen Gupta , that two energetic members of the executive committee of the reorganization party were sent to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. They left to Calcutta on the 30th dressed as up-country-men with fictitious names of Kesho Singh and Debi Singh .They addressed meetings in Hindi at Patna , Banaras ,Allahabad and Agra and tried to impress upon the P&T workers on the need of joining the struggle. As the All India Telegraph Union had already served the Government with strike notice and Telegraph workers of Bengal and Assam were already on strike, it was easy for Sri. Ganguly and Sri. Sen Gupta to persuade the Telegraphists to join the strike. The Telegraphists of Agra and Lucknow were already on strike, credit for which goes to comrades B P Banerjee and S N Misra, and as a result of this new effort, the strike is spread amongst the telegraph office staff of Bihar and most parts of UP. It is worth mentioning that wherever the Telegraphists under the A.I.T.U has gone on strike, those under I.T.A left their association and joined the strike.
The Postal Class III Employees of Patna and Lucknow had gone on sympathetic strike . The RMS P Division workers of Patna under the able leadership of Comrade. G.P. Gopal however became full pledged strikers and where on strike for full 8 days under protection of the Bihar Provincial Trade Union Congress with which the RMS P Division Union, a branch of the All India Postal and RMS Union , got itself affiliated . The strike later on spread amongst the RMS workers of A Division at Allahabad. Besides, Com. V.G.Dalvi, Com Dharia and Susil Kavelkar took active part in conduction the strike at Bombay. Com. P.M/Krishnan was at the helm of Strike Committee in Madras while Delhi strike was conducted by Com. Y.D. Sarma and by Com.Mehaboob Hussain, Vice President of Delhi Provincial branch of the Post Men Union. Comrades S P Anand and Mohd Hayat , Vice President and Secretary of Punjab and N.W.F Province , conducted the total strike in that Circle. The specialty of strike in Calcutta and Bombay was that not a single postman and lower grade staff had attended the office from the 11th July onwards.
The strike at Delhi was also virtually complete. In New Delhi, out of 156 postmen only 2 were at work on the first day and in Delhi, out of 184 postmen only 10 attended duty on the first day and on subsequent days there was further dwindling down. The over-whelming majority of post man and lower grade staff of Bombay, Madras, Bengal and Assam UP, Punjab and NW FP Bihar and C.P joined this unit struggle which was a struggle for existence.
The Government false prestige stood in their way to agree to come to settlement with the Post Men Union , but from the 21st midnight, from whence the entire P & T workers of all arms of service of Bengal and Assam struck work, the situation completely changed. Sri. Krishnaprasada, ICS Director General of Post and Telegraphs left Delhi and reached Pune on the 22nd and met Sri B G Kher, the Chief Minister of Bombay State and discussed with him the question relating to bringing about an amicable settlement between the Government and the strikers. (To be continued)